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Ely College

Ely College

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information

Should you have any queries regarding SEND provision at Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form then please contact Mrs Keeley Wickham - SENDCo Lead -

Telephone 01353 667763 extension 2859  

Report: PDF attachment below.

Details of the Cambridgeshire County Council Local Offer can be found here:


1. The kinds of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, for which provision is made at the school 

Ely College aims to make appropriate provision for the full range of students with SEND. We have a history of working successfully with pupils who have mild and moderate learning difficulties, speech, language and communication difficulties including those on the autistic spectrum and students with ADHD. We have strategies in place to support those with specific learning difficulties including dyslexia and those with social, emotional and mental health issues. Provision has also been made for students with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, juvenile arthritis and epilepsy, as well as visual and auditory disabilities and wheelchair users. The college site has been adapted in recent years to accommodate partially blind students and those who require wheelchairs.

2. Identification and assessment of pupils with SEND 

At the start of the Summer term every year, information is gathered on incoming Year 6 students from our feeder primary schools, from families and agencies such as Educational Psychology, Hearing and Visual Support Services, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, Cambridgeshire’s Specialist Teaching Service and any other relevant agencies regarding pupils who are likely to have SEND. Information regarding these students is written up and disseminated to staff before the two day Induction Programme in July.

Students who transfer in mid-year are identified from previous schools’ records.

Issues regarding individual students’ special needs raised by teaching and support staff, or families, are investigated.

Assessment of students’ literacy skills, especially Year 7 students are carried out on entry to identify students who need intervention in this area.  The Maths and English Departments carry out their own baseline assessments during the first ½ term to ascertain starting points. Students are all assessed regularly in individual subjects, and any concerns raised by these are acted upon by the relevant Senior Tutors and subject teachers who liaise with the SEND team.

How will we know if your child needs extra help?

When your child first comes to us we use information from:

* Primary school teachers, end of key stage 2 levels

* Baseline literacy testing and Cognitive Ability Tests in year 7

* Parents/carers, application form information

*Subject teachers

*Specialist colleagues, external agencies

As your child gets older we use information or referrals from:

*Termly assessments and interim data

*Subject teachers, tutors and Senior Tutors

*Parental concerns

*External agencies

3. Making provision for students with SEND

a) How the school evaluates the effectiveness of provision for SEND students

Tracking of the progress of all students at Ely College is a continuous process, in terms of both academic and social/emotional/behavioural aspects of development. Concerns regarding the progress being made by pupils with SEND can be identified by any staff working with them, by families, or by the student themselves. For the effectiveness of provision to be judged satisfactory, the student would be making at least expected progress in terms of academic achievement, would be behaving appropriately and would be socially integrated into their teaching and year groups.

b) The school’s arrangements for assessing and reviewing the progress of pupils with SEND

In addition to the tracking process referred to above, all students with an Education, Health and Care plan will have a Pupil Progress Profile containing information about the student’s strengths, areas of concern, targets for them to work on and information for teachers on how best to support them. We are in the process of rolling this out to all SEND support students.  This puts the student very much at the heart of the document and is drawn up after a discussion with the student about their views on their learning, what they want teachers to consider when teaching them and two achievable targets. Feedback from staff on how pupils are progressing is requested regularly, before review meetings with parents and the student, if deemed appropriate. Students, not at the review meeting, will then meet with a member of the SEND team to ascertain their perspective on their progress, to share views of their teachers with them, and to update the Pupil Progress Profile targets. Students in the other year groups may have a Pupil Progress Profile drawn up after review meetings with parents if it is deemed appropriate.

Additionally, all students who undertake intervention programmes such as "Lexia Powerup",  “Spelling Mastery” and “SRA reading comprehension programme” have literacy levels assessed at the beginning and end of the programme. Literacy levels of all students with SEND who undertake intervention sessions are assessed towards the end of each academic year. Progress is written up on our provision maps for each student and their views recorded regarding the success and impact of the interventions. This conforms to the “assess, plan, do, review” process as advocated in the SEND Code of Practice 0-25. The Annual Review for students with an EHCP is included in this process.

c) The school’s approach to teaching pupils with SEND

Whatever a students ability level, subject teachers retain responsibility for their education as all our teachers are teachers of SEND. Groups of more able students tend to be larger, those containing students with SEND smaller. Groups with SEND students tend to be those with additional adult support. Teaching Assistants (TAs) working with these groups often have particular expertise in the subject area being supported and/or with working with student(s) in the group. TAs work closely with teachers to deliver the curriculum effectively to students with SEND.  Attempts are made to ensure that work is differentiated in such a way that it is accessible to all students. Those students who are not able to access mainstream courses, for example GCSE courses, are offered alternatives such as COPE and Step Up to English.

d) How the school adapts the curriculum and learning environment for pupils with SEND

As mentioned earlier, teaching staff differentiate work to suit the ability level of the pupils they are teaching. While all students in Key Stage 3 follow a common curriculum, teachers consider such aspects as the readability of written material, the range of activities to be undertaken, the manner in which lessons are delivered and the explicitness of explanations and instructions. Writing frameworks, for example, are often made available to support written work. Teaching is, wherever possible, delivered in a multi-sensory way, so that students have visual as well as oral material to support their learning. Work is broken down into manageable chunks for students. Literacy development is a cross curricular focus at the college, with work taking place on vocabulary development, spelling and effective writing in all relevant departments, providing a supportive learning environment for students with literacy difficulties, including dyslexia. Numeracy development has also been introduced into all subject areas to raise the profile and importance of number skills.

Our three year Key Stage 4 enables us to offer a wider range of optional subjects and thus we run a number of vocational courses; subjects such as Hair and Beauty as well as Hospitality and Catering have become popular, balancing exams with practical coursework. In terms of the learning environment, adaptations are made in response to the needs of students. Appropriate seating arrangements are made for students with hearing or visual impairments, and those who have difficulty with concentration.

In Key Stage 5 students with SEND are catered for by individualised timetables to reflect their needs. 

e) Additional support for learning that is available to pupils with SEND

As mentioned earlier, the school regularly deploys additional adults to work in groups containing students with SEND. These adults, usually TAs, are often able to give more individual support to those who need it. Many subject areas offer after school support to those who need it. The SEND Department runs regular literacy and some maths intervention sessions. They provide a “safe haven” for vulnerable students during unstructured time; offer a weekly, afterschool homework support for identified students and those who wish to have additional help and an appropriate environment in which to work.  A small number of students who come in with below average National Curriculum levels and have difficulty with literacy are withdrawn from MFL sessions and instead come to the BRIDGE for supported study sessions. These supported study groups (SSG ) have proved effective in improving not just basic reading and spelling skills, but also comprehension, confidence and motivation.

Touch Typing courses have been arranged for students who experience visual impairments and/or fine motor difficulties, and Alpha Smarts: portable word processing equipment, are made available to some students with illegible handwriting.

f) How the school enables pupils with SEND to engage in the activities of the school (including physical activities) together with children who do not have SEND

All students at Ely College have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of school life, often through the steps referred to earlier. Responses to individual needs are made on an individual basis, by, for example, carrying out additional risk assessments and increasing staffing levels to ensure the successful inclusion, health and safety of students involved in activities away from the school premises. For students who struggle with PE, often a TA will oversee alternative activities with a small group under the guidance of the PE staff. Students who require physiotherapy have often used the equipment in the fitness room in the Sports Hall as part of their programme under the guidance of the Physiotherapist.

g) Support that is available for improving the emotional, mental and social development of pupils with SEND

Ely College enjoys the benefits of having a room where vulnerable students with medical or emotional needs can go if they require some time out of lessons. Students with various other needs can also go there, should they also need time out of lessons. This room is situated in the BRIDGE and staffed by members of the SEND team. They support the students' work through any issues they may have and help reintegrate them back into lessons. If a student is struggling, they can be referred through the Locality team and a youth worker assigned to see them weekly for a period of time. These confidential sessions are 1-1 and support students through their problems. Students are also able to self-refer to the school nurse who comes in on a weekly basis.  Where it is felt that problems are beyond the scope of the school, students can be referred on to other agencies, such as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service).

4. Name and contact details of the school’s SEND Coordinator

The SENDCO is Mrs Keeley Wickham and she can be contacted via email on

Your child’s needs and difficulties are extremely important to us, however with the very high volume of enquiries and statutory requirements that the SEND department manage, we may not be able to get back to you straight away. Please see our SEND FAQs which may help with your concerns.

5. Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to children and young people with SEND, and about how specialist expertise will be secured

Information on the way in which SEND provision is made in Ely College is included in the induction programme for all new staff joining the school. This includes an explanation of where to find information regarding individual students, their levels of attainment and ways in which they can be supported. The SENDCo has provided information, available on our SEN database, on a range of areas of difficulty students are likely to experience, and how they can best be supported.

In addition, teachers are given regular training on:



- Mental Health

- Therapeutic behaviour support

- Dyslexia friendly classrooms

- Emotional Literacy

Our TAs offer support for our EHCP students in class and through interventions. The SEND team has ongoing training on a range of learning needs and is also part of the MITA project: Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants.

Outside agencies, including Educational Psychology, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Hearing and Visual impairment specialists and other professionals from the Health Service are called upon to provide advice as and when necessary.

6. Information about how equipment and facilities to support children and young people will be secured

Where young people with SEND have an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan), issues regarding equipment and facilities they need will be identified at the Annual Review meetings and raised with the Statutory Resource Team (START). Where students do not have this protection, discussion regarding provision of equipment and facilities will be discussed with the Principal and the Finance Manager.  
Funding for relatively low cost items will be found from within the SEND department’s budget. Examples of where this has happened include provision of Alpha Smarts for students with fine motor problems and reading resources for developing literacy skills.

7. The arrangements for consulting parents of children with SEND about, and involving such parents in, the education of their child

For all year groups we welcome the involvement of parents/carers and want to keep you up to date and involved with your child’s progress. We do this through:

* The college newsletter (Sway)

* Information on the website

* Parents’ Evenings

* Parents' In The Loop Forum

* Email

* Telephone calls

* Appointments with individual teachers

* Annual and interim reviews (for those with an Education Health & Care Plan)

The school provides information for parents through:

* Open evenings

* Letters home

* Information evenings

* Termly progress reviews

8. Arrangements for consulting young people with SEND about, and involving them in, their education

At Ely College we encourage students to share their views, in discussion, about their education. They are always invited to Annual Reviews and their views are captured as part of their Pupil Passport, which is available to all teachers.  Their teachers’ perceptions regarding their attitude, application and progress are shared with them, with any concerns raised by students being fed back to teachers concerned. They are involved in setting their targets for the future, and are invited to suggest ways in which school can support them more effectively.

9. Any arrangements made by the governing body relating to the treatment of complaints from parents of pupils with SEND concerning the provision made at school

The school has a formal complaints policy which can be found on the website under Policies.

In the first instance, contact the student’s Senior Tutor. If the complainant is not satisfied by the outcome, the complaint will then be passed on to the Principal and then the Academy Councillors (Governors). 

10. How the governing body involves other bodies, including health and social services bodies, local authority support services and voluntary organisations, in meeting the needs of pupils with SEND and in supporting the families of such pupils.

The work of the SEND Department is overseen by Mrs Sally Kay, Assistant Principal, SENCo Lead. The SENCo is responsible for ensuring that outside agencies are involved when necessary. Mrs Kay liaises with the Academy Council through regular meetings.

11. The contact details of support services for the parents of pupils with SEND, including those for arrangements made in accordance with clause 32 of the new Code of Practise.

Contact details of support services can be found in Cambridgeshire’s “Local Offer”, found at /SEND

12. The school’s arrangements for supporting students with SEND transferring between phases of education, or in preparing for adulthood and independent living

Year 6 students

In the Autumn Term of Year 6 parents of students who have an EHCP or are at SEN Support are invited to one of our SEND open events. These are arranged through the Primary School SENDCO.

In the summer term of Year 6 our EHCP students are invited to a taster morning where they can sample Ely College life and get to know some of our team. This is in addition to the main Year 6 induction days. Our SEN Support students will be invited to an afterschool session where we can start getting to know them.

Mid-phase transfers

 Where students transfer mid phase, previous schools and records are consulted regarding the student’s SEND status, and, where appropriate assessments take place.

Transition to post-16

During KS4, all students undertake work around their post 16 options. EHCP students will complete a vocational profile. All will complete work experience, with extended work experience being organised where it is deemed appropriate. Pupils who need support will be helped to write their personal statements for post 16 providers. They will be offered taster days at providers, with TAs to accompany and support where this is deemed necessary. For students with EHCP's, representation, from post 16 providers they are interested in, will be invited to Annual Reviews. All students in the school have access to a Young Person’s Advisor, who will provide information and advice on post 16 options.

During KS5 the procedure is similar to that of KS4 with visits arranged to various open days at universities, by the student support officer for 6th form. Staff also help students complete their UCAS applications to ensure they meet the deadline. 

Transfer Arrangements

All documentation about special needs included in a student's record is transferred between schools.

The records of students who leave at the end of Year 11 are forwarded to Post 16 placements once these have been confirmed.

13. Faqs

I think my child has ASD or ADHD what do I do?

All neurodevelopmental referrals are processed through Younited (CAMHS). Their criteria for accepting the referral is very high. There has to be significant, persistent challenges at both home and school over a sustained period of time.

The process to access a CAMHS assessment for ASD or ADHD is as follows:

  1. Initial data gathering from teachers to see if there is enough evidence for a referral.
  2. School to put Support Plan in place over at least one term
  3. EHA to be completed by House Office
  4. Parenting course to be completed by parents and certificate forwarded to SENDCO (ADHD only)
  5. Parent to complete parent views as part of the referral form
  6. Referral form completed and submitted with evidence

There is currently a waiting list for new referrals. In the meantime there are many helpful and informative websites that can offer you and your child some ideas as to how to manage the challenges of neurodiversity:

Families (

Services for Families - ADHD Foundation : ADHD Foundation

Diagnostic criteria information for ASD can be found here

Diagnostic criteria information for ADHD can be found here

If you would like to start the above process then please complete the form here.

Should I pay for a private diagnoses for ADHD/ASD?

The school cannot advise on whether a parent should follow a private diagnostic pathway. The standard and reliability of these can vary and there are many more companies springing up that offer these, so do make sure you check them carefully as the cost is significant. The diagnosis will not guarantee extra support and the school is not obliged to implement any recommendations that are suggested by a private report.

I think my child is dyslexic – what support will be given?

We aim to be a dyslexia friendly school and classrooms and resources should be accessible to those with dyslexia or visual stress. The school no longer offers screening, however we do offer a range of interventions that support our dyslexic students, or those who have a dyslexia-type profile, if their literacy scores are below average. We can also check for visual stress and give an appropriate overlay if necessary. Please note that a dyslexia diagnosis does not mean that exam concessions will be automatically given as these are applied for through our Access Arrangement testing which follows strict criteria as given by JCQ. Our Educational Psychologist will be holding a parent forum on dyslexia this academic year so watch this space.

My child has an issue with Maths – could they be dyscalculic?

We no longer offer dyscalculia screening, however if your child has anxiety around Maths then we offer a Fun Maths intervention that can help take away some of the fear of numbers. We also offer Maths interventions run by the Maths department and our TAs. Please contact the SEND admin office for more information As with dyslexia, a private dyscalculia diagnosis does not guarantee exam concessions.

My child is falling behind in some lessons – do they have special needs?

Children’s brains develop at different rates and in different ways. During adolescence the brain undergoes a great deal of growth and change. Sometimes students will find things difficult or their progress can slow down. Please contact your child’s teacher if you are concerned about a specific subject.

My child’s mental health is really worrying me – what should I do?

At Ely College we have a comprehensive pastoral system that can offer advice and support on a range of mental health and wellbeing issues. Please contact your child’s House Office in the first instance.

My child is refusing to come to school. How can I get the support to get her/him in?

The school has a very experienced and knowledgeable attendance and safeguarding team that can offer advice, however we would expect parents to take the lead on their child’s mental health and make sure they are communicating the important message of school attendance to their child at all times.

My child needs a quiet space to regulate – can they have a BRIDGE pass or House Exit Card?

These are issued by SLT based on a needs-based criteria. Our classrooms are calm, purposeful environments with skilled, dedicated teachers and every student should be able to access their lessons. There is a quiet space for lunch if students would prefer to be away from the noisier areas during break time.

I think my child needs an Education, Health and Care Plan.

The criteria for a child to be given an EHCP is very high. There must be evidence of persistent challenges over a period of time that have meant that the school cannot meet those needs without extra funded support. We would be looking for the following:

  • Needs across most if not all of the criteria set down by the Code of Practice: Cognition and Learning, Communication and Interaction, Social, emotional and mental health and Physical/Sensory.
  • Very low baseline scores that fall in the below average range
  • Low End of College targets (EOC) and working at P- in a number of subjects
  • Needs flagged by a number of staff that work with the child (House SSA, teachers, form tutors)
  • Behaviour points given for disruption, non-completion of work
  • A diagnoses of, or on the waiting list for assessment for, a condition that is significantly impacting the child’s ability to access the curriculum
The school will not complete an EHCP Needs Assessment application unless there is the data to support it.

The CMAT SEND policy can be found here on their Policies page. 

The Cambridgeshire County Council SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) page can be found here.